The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners has expressed disappointment at government’s decision to extend the ban on small-scale mining by three more months.
According to them, it appears they have been targeted by the ban which does not apply to large-scale miners despite the fact that both small and large-scale mining is regulated by the same law.
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, on Friday announced the extension of the of the temporary ban which seeks to allow water bodies and lands that have been destroyed as a result of mining to be regenerated.
The miners have on various occasions appealed to the government to end the ban which they claim is negatively affecting their livelihood.
The Director of Operations for the Association, Emmanuel Yenkyi Antwi, in a radio interview said they remain against the idea of a ban on their activities.
“We have never been in support of the ban. Especially a ban that is discriminatory against us as licensed small-scale miners. Small-scale mining and large-scale mining [are both regulated by the same law], and so the fact that this ban affects one section for the two groups who are supposed to be regulated under the same law, we deeply feel that it is discriminatory. We were aware there was going to be an extension, but we have never been in support of the extension,” he said.
Meanwhile, the sector minister, John Peter Amewu, has announced that the government has set up a committee to monitor developments in the sector before the implementation of the five-year Multilateral Mining Integrated Project (MMIP).